"Its always between the moments of madness that we realise our mistakes. I too have paid witness to the decay of the once prosperous Underground where we live, along with a few select others, who in turn have witnessed the fall alongside me. It is to these compatriots I turn to, and question the harsh reality, shackles apon the crystalline throne of gold. Peace was never the answer. It was the question. The answer is far more terrifying."
-An excerpt from the autobiography of the late King Asgore.
It was cold.
Not a soft cold, where the tips of your fingers may get vaguely lost in the edge of your pocket, no, it was true cold. A lifeless gaze of cold peering through the windows as it slowly raps against the pane with its outstretched knuckle. Waiting behind the glass.
He sat up. Papyrus never minds the cold, it keeps him aware.
"Alive" they whisper.
"Alive", he chuckles back.
Pulling the rough blanket off his knees, Papyrus got up. His black scarf edged with crimson sat carefully over his pristine white shirt, black sleeve gloves covering his arms and his ruby gloves glaring out like an open wound. He dusted his blue shorts, crystals growing at the ends near his knees. His scarlet boots squeaked against the harsh flooring.
Bones clicking in a rhythmic pattern, popping vertebrae, snapping phalanges.
Grinning wide to himself, he idly scratched at the new forming crystals along his eyesockets while preparing for a new day. Looking over to his bed where he had been for approximately 5 hours and 11 minutes, staring at the ceiling while contemplating the reasons behind birds, he sighed and straightened his immaculate posture.
With his best foot forward, he gladly opened his door and began. The chilled air was like a wave, but he marched onward towards his brother's room.
"Gooood morning Sans! Now isn't it just theeee perfect day for puzzles!!" Papyrus enjoyed this game he and his brother played. If he could call it that. He watched the snow fall against the pane, -
/watching waiting always there/
-as he turned back to Sans's door with a sigh. "Brother, you know how much I hate to do this, and its your week to pay for property damage!~"Papyrus sung cheerfully at the door. Lifting his boot, he prepared to kick that thing out of the way, just like he was taught.
Slamming the door open with a wheezing gasp, Sans groaned as he flopped against the cold ground. Same as he last saw him, Sans wore his purple-blue hoodie, hood up to accompany the bandages wrapped around his head, stopping further damage to his skull against the soft crystals that gleamed unholy like an array of memories from a cursed past. He patted Papyrus's foot with his black gloved hand, his gloves matching his midnight boots and pants.
"Damn Paps, you win...haha, tibia honest, I didn't think you'd kick the door down..." He shakily sighed.
"Of course I would brother! I never lose! Wait a sec did you just... ugh." Sans snorted. "Besides that one time when you di-"
Papyrus screeched."HUSH. EAT. WORK."
Papyrus attempted to usher Sans downstairs with a nudge of his scarlet boot, however Sans remained sprawled on the floor. "Saaaans....don't make me take your hoodie..." Sans shot up."R-right then Paps! You win! You win!" Papyrus stared outside again.
"We kinda established that."
Sans chuckled, accepting his fate. "So that means you get to eat even more spaghetti this morning! I made you extra approximately three hours ago! I just knew you'd appreciate it!!" Sans facepalmed and shuffled downstairs with a groan. Papyrus leapt up with pep in his step, skipping each second stair, feet muffled on carpet, then to the fridge, grabbing as many containers as he could find in the hell hole they called an appliance. "Isn't it great to be alive Sans! To be able to witness the chilling crystals forming in the air, falling apon us, and then growing into more!" Papyrus laughed, finally closing the fridge with his mountain of tupperware. Sans' face wiped as soon as he saw the mountain before him, precariously placed. "Y-yep. Great to be alive bro. " Sans opened one with a cringe. Papyrus beamed yet again. "Those are your rations for the year! You should finish them before its out!" Papyrus giggled and gazed apon his mastery of spaghetti eminent from the peculiar staining. "Bro...its the last week of the year..." Papyrus tilted his head quizzically. "And?" Sans tapped his covered eye socket. "Eye can't eat them all...I don't have the stomach for it." Papyrus's head whipped around to stare at Sans.
Sans gulped. "For now at least! This could be a treat to share with everyone! Well I'll be off to fix my puzzles for the six hundred and forty third time now! Sans, don't forget to go to work, I'll be back!"
Papyrus closed the door to their humble abode, and set of in the usual trance of the underground.
There truly isn't much in Snowdin. A few facilities for public use, consisting of a small library with little to offer, the local restaurant and bar; Grillby's, an inn that only regulars frequent and a small shop run by a family business. Papyrus supposed there was also the Nice Cream cart, however that was often located further away from town.
He hummed, theorising on the purpose of monetary exchange between the local crowd. Where exactly does it all go? The crown? Surely not, for there is no king in the current state of affairs. Perhaps it goes towards the religious circles, worshipping the oh mighty Forgotten One, how they shall free us of our cursed shackles. Papyrus often gave into bouts of thought, providing he had adequate time to recollect himself to resume life. Even so, he tried. After all, thats what life is right? Trying? He was alive.
"Alive." He breathed.
"Alive", they whispered back.
He kept up the admirable pace he had ever so slowly gotten into the habit of using, and crossed the bridge, glancing one last look at Snowdin till he returned. He stepped onward and -
/devour the uneventful chain of cosmic events no one can witness/
-wished he made sure Sans wasn't slacking off. Papyrus trusted his brother, but sometimes theres limits to what trust means. He kept going however, eager to check if his recent puzzle design still functions. Puzzles are curious things to capture humans, he pondered. Unlike fighting, puzzles are not straightforward. They are to bamboozle! To confuse! To capture!
Fighting, as his mentor and Captain of the Former Royal Guard normally says, is the best approach. But what if the human can fight? You can see the enemy in a fight but in a puzzle youre left with your own thoughts, a mental attack if any. Papyrus would always retort in such a manner, but always accepting that both ways work.
He shifted his gaze upwards, the ceiling a continuous monochrome rust within the flurry of ice. Stopping at some of his simpler grounded puzzles, he did a few maintenance checks before continuing towards his goal. Papyrus always worried. He worried about San's condition, crystals covering his brother's skull and cracking it. He worried how the crystals might have affected him. Papyrus only had small spiralling vortexes apon the tops of his cheekbones and lower eye sockets, however he had heard and seen how badly some monsters get affected by the...infection. He felt fine however, and brushed it off as a chance he'd have to take. Feet crunching, softly, slowly, he reached his destination. A table with a plate of spaghetti, an unplugged microwave. He smiled. Maybe the crystals weren't bad, if they gave him such a brilliant idea. He couldn't wait for a human to arrive.
Papyrus: HP ??/?? DEF ?? ATK ??
* he froze the spaghetti on purpose.
Papyrus never worried.
Papyrus giggled. He laughed. He chuckled. He realised how often he had been laughing these days. How good that must be! If he's laughing, then he's happy! His traps were perfect. He was ready, now he just had to be patient, waiting at his post. He waited -
/irregular breathing swiveling eyes they're here they're here/
-till he saw Sans.
Why would he be here?
No...How could he be here?
"I've been here the whole time...how did he get past me...?"Curious, Papyrus stood up from his dilapidated shack he made years ago. -
/was it years, was it just the passing of time that monsters don't witness for no stars light their sullen ceiling?/
-Crimson boots crunching against the ice, crystal and dust that fills the air before settling once more, Papyrus slowly walked towards Sans. Stopping slowly, he stood before his brother's outpost.
A figure of indeterminate gender stood in front of Sans, their head bowed low, facing towards Papyrus.
"H-hey. Don't you know its rude to not look at someone when they're speaking? T-turn around."
The figure slowly turned, raspy breath audible to the taller skeleton who watched.
Papyrus whispered, chuckling darkly.
/never look back never look back never look back/
-they greeted Sans with a small nod. "N-now I'm supposed to be watching out for any humans here you see, but I don't really care...My bro Papyrus, however, he's... Obsessed. To the point its all he talks about. So...if you could be a skele-pal and stay alive till he sees you...t-that would be appreciated."
The human shuffled around, staring at their hands till they gave a sharp nod.
"O-okay then, just go through here...he made the bars too big to stop anything anyway..."
The two stepped through the gate that Papyrus had constructed. For whatever it was worth, those logs were heavy to carry, Papyrus thought. Bounding forward with a grin, Papyrus made himself known to the duo.
Sans flinched, and the human stared, stared intensely. "Why hello Sans! I'm glad to see you haven't been slacking off!" Papyrus smiled. Sans scratched at his covered eyesocket. "Y-yep." Sans replied slowly. The human gazed at Papyrus, almost entertained by the skeleton's appearance.
"And hello human." Papyrus's voice dropped an octave, causing the human to step back in apprehension.
"Hmm. Good job Sans...you've done well." Papyrus chuckled.
"This is going to be very entertaining! Why, I haven't been that entertained since the fall of the king! Nyehehe, ah, so many problems." Papyrus turned away from the duo, giving Sans a soft look before stepping back into the cold, fearful storm of ice that refracted the light in such a way that it ate away at the optic nerve. Its good he didn't have one then.
The cold hit as he walked into a clearing where he had set a puzzle, making him feel...
He whipped his head towards where the voice in the dark had supposedly come from, but saw only snow and crystal, trees and dust. He stood there in the dim light of the outskirts of Snowdin, waiting.
He wondered, yet had nothing to wonder about. He just -
/scratch away the chest cavities forming, rotting/
-smiled and continued to stand, in the semi-night of the underground. Waiting for the human.
Because he was alive.
"Alive", he whispered.
" Alive", they said back.